Tag Archives: Weezer

“Waiting”

rentals
The Rentals
Return of The Rentals, 1995

At this point, I guess I’m something of a Weezer “truther.” Several albums and more than a decade removed from the band’s distinctly underwhelming Green Album return, there’s no logic or benefit to arguing that Rivers Cuomo’s post-Pinkerton output stacks up to past glories, because It. Just. Doesn’t. Cuomo’s written plenty of good songs since, but something was lost in those intervening years that he’ll never get back, and who the fuck am I to complain when I can barely play three chords? One strong theory though: Weezer lost more than a bassist when Matt Sharp left. The Rentals’ debut, released shortly after The Blue Album, was lower-fi and more keyboard-heavy, but otherwise sounded a hell of a lot like the work of a guy who played (and possibly even co-wrote songs) for Weezer. Sharp’s distinct background vocals snuck onto those first two albums, and in live performances, he was the guy who kept the energy up. So maybe he’s the Man Behind the Curtain, maybe he’s not — see yesterday’s Song for proof that Cuomo can still hold his own when he feels like it. More likely though, in some unspeakable sense, Sharp contributed to the band dynamic in such a way that things could never be the same without him. Because they weren’t.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/02%20Waiting.mp3]

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“The Angel and the One”

weezer
Weezer
The Red Album, 2008

“The Angel and the One” is a fascinating entry in the post-heyday Weezer discography. In sentiment and execution it’s something of a mid-life rejoinder to Blue Album finale “Only in Dreams,” widely acknowledged by people who used to love Weezer to be, like, maybe the best song Rivers Cuomo ever wrote. What’s interesting about “Angel” is just how closely it contradicts its forebear. Instead of a hapless, unknown, twenty-something dude praying for a shot at getting laid, we’ve got thirty-eight year-old rock icon Cuomo telling a groupie to step off. At the other end of his remarkable career, he’s no longer the nerd begging for attention, he’s the millionaire who’s had enough. And where “Dreams” was lyrically direct, a pure sentiment boiled down to purest form, “Angel” is high-minded, awkwardly phrased and almost comically overblown, ending with an unlikely benediction: “Peace, shalom.” But divorced from the words, the song soars — the music here is as strong as anything on the band’s first two albums, and Cuomo sings with such conviction it doesn’t really matter what he’s saying. No comment on that cover art though.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20The%20Angel%20and%20the%20One.mp3]

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